|Keep it Simple, Stupid
The last thing newbies need is someone trying to make them understand things like Atomic Clock and Shot in Motion when they first start out. It’s better to keep it simple. I learned this the hard way.
I live in Guatemala and go to a Christian school. Playing Amtgard is a feat itself, but I finally got a good member-base built and started playing. The first time we met, we were kind of jacking around and having fun when I decided to teach these poor, lost noobs to ditch.
It didn’t go as planned. The weren’t so hot on the idea of ditching on their first day and just wanted to run around swinging and having fun. Now, the Amtgarder side of me wanted to scream "No! That’s wrong!" Then I saw that they were having fun. I thought back to my first day two years ago, and remembered that I did the same thing on my first day, and my second, and the third… and that got me wondering how I knew the things I do now if nobody ever taught it to me?
But it seems I picked it up as I went and didn’t have someone sit and tell me all about it my first few times out. I just hit folks with foam sticks and that’s what I got addicted to, not the politics or the rules. It was just fun, and the rules and such came later.
On our second meet, I told everyone that they needed to make some garb and how to do it, and to pick a class if they hadn’t already because next week we would have a great and wondrous thing called ‘quals’. So we had quals, and a tourney, and A&S entries, and food, and an all around good time. And the next week we had elections.
Then something funny began to happen. I was at school on Monday and heard things in passing like "Did you see that shot so-and-so pulled off on Saturday? I wish I had a slot like that," and "Man, I read the 7.0 rule book last night, dude, its going to make the game a lot better." And then people were talking to each using their persona names at school and trying to recruit new members at lunch. It turns out they were doing some Internet research on Amtgard themselves, and I didn’t have to shovel rules at them at all.
We’re now in our third month of operation and they all know the rules. They love the game and wand more. So just go easy on the newbies. They’ll figure it out.
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